Southland officials urge vigilance in wake of bin Laden’s death

The word “vigilance” popped up often when Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck and other authorities talked about the fallout from Osama bin Laden’s death.

Beck and other Southland law enforcement and elected officials are urging people to watch for suspicious activity.

“This is your responsibility also,” said Beck. “This county and this city are far too big to only rely on the people standing in front of you. This is everybody’s job.”

Beck encouraged people to report any behavior they think might be suspicious.

“Now this can be many things. It can be chemicals, it could be increased traffic, it could be anything,” Beck said. “You know your neighborhoods. Pay attention. Keep yourselves safe so I can keep you safe.”

More visible and behind-the-scenes security is in place at potential targets for terrorist attacks such as Los Angeles International Airport and the Staples Center.

LA County Sheriff Lee Baca said his department is cooperating with regional and federal authorities to prevent danger.

“I have constant communication with the deputy secretaries and the people who are operating in the various operations within the Department of Homeland Security,” said Baca.

Law enforcement officials report no specific threats to LAX or the seaports.

LA City Councilman Eric Garcetti said that means people are free “to root for the Lakers. To even in these tough times, cheer for the Dodgers. To be able to go on with our work and our family. There is no reason for us to be afraid.”

In other words, he said, to go on with their lives as they would during any sunny week in May.

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